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  • I awoke with a start, and found myself in a tent, on the edge of the wooded area, right where I’d been when I fell asleep, dead to the world. It was still dark out – all that could be heard were crickets chirping, men snoring, and horses snorting and kicking the ground, restlessly waiting out the night. I was awoken by the aroma of coffee and chickory, wafting into my tent from where it was cooking over a fire, just outside. I just lay there for a moment, motionless on top of my blanket, the hard ground beneath providing little comfort. My body still ached from the hard march we’d been on for the last several days.

    Or was it…from the other life I live, the one somewhere in the distant future, where everything is different, this very land, even, is transformed with incredible, unbelievable numbers of people and civilization? There, I am much older, but I feel somehow connected to here when I am there. It is so strange – I am not “me”, but some descendent of me, perhaps, some sort of blood connection. I can “feel” it in my blood, when I am there. I seem to be looking back here for some kind of answers. I keep trying to tell my “self” from there, that there are no answers to be found here – just an endless list of questions. What do I know? Hell, I’m only 15 years old!

    Just in that very waking moment could I remember that other life, like a dream, quickly fading as soon as I gained consciousness. I thought it was just a dream, at first. It certainly felt like a dream. A very vivid recurring dream, to be sure. But, I began to write particulars I could remember down in this diary, and soon I realized that there was a pattern to these dreams emerging, a consistency that is not common to dreams. It seems that when I fall asleep here, I wake up there. Likewise, when I fall asleep there, I wake up here. Each life is a dream to the other life – but as I began to suspect, and only just recently confirmed, these are not dreams. These are two distinct lives, connected somehow through time and space, for what reason or purpose, I really have no clue.
  • I’m just trying to get through this war in one piece. I still can’t believe that I am here. That fellow on the other side of my dreams should see what a complete and utter fool I am for even being here. He seems to understand a few things about war that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

    What an idiot I am! Stowing away on a train so I could join up with my brothers and father (step father), to march off to the glories of a quick and decisive quashing of the rebellion. That seemed like another lifetime ago, but truly has been less than two years. This is horrid business, plain and simple. We’ve all long since forgotten what we’re even doing out here, what it is we are fighting for. We just carry on, because we committed to it, and once committed, you can’t turn back. I know – I tried to go back, but quickly realized the life I thought I left behind in Pittsburgh is no longer there, not for me. I left it behind when I stowed away on that train, and now, this is my fate, where I must make my mark. This is where I must live and fight, just to stay alive, just to fulfill this commitment. Then, by God, may we never know war again. This land is so torn apart by it, so many lives have been ruined by it, and for what? Who even remembers why we started this fight, such a long time ago. All I know, is I lost father early on, and I continue on for my brothers’ sake. They look out for me, and I mustn’t let them down again. I am committed to seeing this through.

    As for that other fellow, that descendent from my “dream”. I hope to convince him that he’s wasting his time with me, and should just get back to his life, to his commitments, and see them through, just as I am doing here. If I have any message for him, it would be that.

    Now, I must get up and get a tin of that burning coffee and chickory. Another day begins. It looks to be a fine day ahead – a soft spring breeze kisses my skin as I emerge from the tent.
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